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Issue #118 – Real Fake Newsletter

Menno van Doorn
July 04, 2023

Everything Has Turned Grey

“The world is becoming less colourful.” It is an interesting observation made by The Cultural Tutor. In his thread on Twitter he gives several examples. According to The Guardian embracing greyness is a way of dealing with overstimulation: “Everywhere else, not least in the superficial richness of our virtual lives, we are overstimulated. We can’t take much more. Perhaps embracing greyness is our way of taking a break from it all.”

Faking It

“We are on the cusp of a new stage in human evolution which will have a profound effect on society and democracy. I call it the ‘era of generative AI’, an epoch in which our relationship with machines will change the very framework of society. Navigating this period of immense change, with both the opportunities and risks that it engenders, will be one of the biggest challenges for both democracy and society in this century.”

Uncensored Chatbots Provoke a Fracas Over Free Speech

A new wave of chatbots, developed far from the epicenter of the A.I. boom, are coming online without many guardrails — setting off a polarizing free-speech debate over whether chatbots should be moderated, and who should decide.”

Eric Hartford, a developer behind WizardLM-Uncensored, an unmoderated chatbot, said the following: “You are responsible for whatever you do with the output of these models, just like you are responsible for whatever you do with a knife, a car, or a lighter.”

It sounds like the adage popularized by Spider-Man in Marvel comics “With great power comes great responsibility”. Will people act responsible with these great AI-powers? I don’t think so. There will always be people who misuse the technologies. Just for the lulz…

AI and the Automation of Work

“ChatGPT and generative AI will change how we work, but how different is this to all the other waves of automation of the last 200 years? What does it mean for employment? Disruption? Coal consumption? […] We don’t have AGI, and without that, we have only another wave of automation, and we don’t seem to have any a priori reason why this must be more or less painful than all the others.”

A must read essay by analyst Benedict Evans.

When Will AI Generate a Hollywood Blockbuster?

“Just like the beginning of movies, there’s going to be a lot of duds. There’s going to be a lot of bad stuff that comes out. But whether it’s in three years, whether it’s five years, two years, whatever, there’s going to be someone somewhere that nails it.”

I think there will will not be an AI generated Hollywood blockbuster in the next decade. What we will see though are movies that are created for an audience of one. For this, see the excellent presentation of Ezra Eeman.

AI Is Killing The Old Web, And The New Web Struggles To Be Born

“In recent months, the signs and portents have been accumulating with increasing speed. Google is trying to kill the 10 blue links. Twitter is being abandoned to bots and blue ticks. There’s the junkification of Amazon and the enshittification of TikTok. Layoffs are gutting online media. A job posting looking for an “AI editor” expects “output of 200 to 250 articles per week.” ChatGPT is being used to generate whole spam sites. Etsy is flooded with “AI-generated junk.” Chatbots cite one another in a misinformation ouroboros. LinkedIn is using AI to stimulate tired users. Snapchat and Instagram hope bots will talk to you when your friends don’t. Redditors are staging blackouts. Stack Overflow mods are on strike. The Internet Archive is fighting off data scrapers, and “AI is tearing Wikipedia apart.” The old web is dying, and the new web struggles to be born.”

In 2023, the web is dying again — and, as the litany above suggests, there’s a new catalyst at play: AI.

The Grimace Shake Trend

Here you can find the original TikTok movie that started the whole trend. Read more about it here.

“Heart On My Sleeve” by Ghostwriter977 ft Ai Drake and The Weeknd AI Generated Music Video–HHtHzs

Virgin Voyages: Jen AI

About the author

Director and Trend Analyst VINT | Netherlands
Menno is Director of the Sogeti Research Institute for the Analysis of New Technology (VINT). He mixes personal life experiences with the findings of the 19 years of research done at the VINT Research Institute. Menno has co-authored many books on the impact of new technology on business and society.


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